Philosophy of Mind [ed: Heather Salazar]

[updated July 2019]

This thread is for discussions related to the Philosophy of Mind book of the Introduction to Philosophy open textbook series. See the full project summary.

Book Summary:
The main questions in the philosophy of mind are derived from puzzles involving trying to develop a coherent theory of the nature and functions of the mind. Beginning with the nature of the mind, they include: Are minds separate from bodies or is the mind really just the body? If the mind is immaterial and the body material, how do they interact? How can this fit in with science? If the mind is just the body, then how is consciousness explained? How can we have experiences or free will to think and act? How can we explain the special relationship we seem to have with knowing our own mental states?

See the full book summary.

How to participate:
This book is nearly ready for publication! We would love to hear if anyone is planning to use all or part of the book in their course. Please let us know in the thread below!

Relevant Documents:
Chapter Assignments – See here for the outline of chapters and authors.
Author Guide – Read this guide to find out more about what committing to author a chapter involves.

Team: @heathersalazarom (book editor), @clhendricksbc (lead editor), @zoe (Rebus project manager) … and you?

Thanks to everyone who provided their feedback on the outline for this part! It is now closed for comments. We will start looking for chapter authors very soon, and if you’re interested, just add your name to the spreadsheet at the top of the page.

FYI: the Public TOC document has ALL the chapter assignments for each book. Please scroll down to the “philosophy of mind” to see the chapters in this book.

I would like to contribute to Descartes Substance Dualism and Consciousness
or any other topic related to representationalism/self-representationalism.

@vajramadhu Hello and welcome! Could you please introduce yourself a bit and your background/experience in philosophy? That will help us think best about where you might fit into the project. Thanks!

Hi everyone,
I am Madhu Mangal Chaturvedi, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra, Jammu, India.
I have PhD in philosophy from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India. I worked on the problem of subjectivity. I got my PhD in 2014 and have been teaching philosophy since 2012.
My area of research is philosophy of mind and consciousness.
I would like to contribute to this project by writing chapters on consciousness or any other topic related to philosophy of mind. However, I think a separate section on representationalism is a must.

@apurva I am Robin Luke Varghese, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Manipal University Jaipur. My current teaching assignments are at the undergraduate level. I earned my PhD from University of Hyderabad in 2015. Philosophy of mind is my primary area of interest and I focuses on the poroblems of the relation between consciousness and selfhood.
It looks like a very interesting project and I would like to be a part of it, if given a chance.Chapters on Behaviourism and Materialism, Qualia and Raw feelings, Functionalism, Descartes and Substance Duaism are my preferences, yet I would be happy to offer chapters on any other themes as well. I also suggest that a chapter on Personal Identity/Self would be an ideal addition to the proposed text book since it is a much discussed sub-area within Philosophy of Mind.
Thank you.

@vajramadhu Hi Madhu! I forgot that we’re asking people to do one more thing; can you send a CV to Zoe and Apurva from Rebus? They are keeping track of all expressions of interest and CVs, because we’re getting lots of people interested and we want to have all the information gathered by them centrally. They’ll then make sure all the editors have access to that information. Then the Part Editor for this section will get in touch!

Here are the email addresses:

@robinlukevarghese Welcome, Robin! I got your email with your CV so we’re good there. We’ll be in touch soon!

@clhendricksbc Thanks and regards.


My name is Nathan Smith. I’m instructor of philosophy at Houston Community College. I sent a CV to Apurva and Zoe. Thanks for doing this! I think it’s a great opportunity.

I have a PhD from Boston College and the University of Paris, Sorbonne. I did my dissertation on Rene Descartes and the origins of his concept of mind in the Regulae (an early work on method). My specialization is in the history of philosophy, primarily 17th century philosophy and early phenomenology. However, I’ve been teaching philosophy at Houston Community College since 2008. Before that, I was a teaching fellow at Boston College for 4 years. I have taught a range of entry level courses and have developed a considerable amount of resources for my students, including a model course on Introduction to Philosophy, public domain (and preprint) primary source texts together with my own notes. I hope I can help.

I’d like to contribute on the issues of dualism and physicalism. I believe I could contribute some historical perspective as well as reference to the more contemporary debates in the 90s and 00s between Chalmers, Dennett, and Kim. I’d also like to tackle some of the mental content issues. This is an interest of mine.

@smithnd Hi Nathan, welcome to the Rebus Community, and thanks for your interest in the project! I see that you’ve sent along your CV, so I will pass it to Heather who will make final decisions for this part in January.

Hi all,

I would like to contribute to this textbook. I’m interested in writing the chapter on Concepts and Content. Here’s a bit about my work:

My work spans linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science, with a focus on the study of language and mind. I have taught and tutored in linguistics, philosophy of science, cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language courses. I am currently working on completing my book, Perfectly thinkable thoughts: On the role of language in human cognition.



@e.asoulin Hi Eran, thanks for your interest in the project, and welcome to the Rebus Community!

Your research interests seem quite expansive! Could you tell us a bit more about your experience teaching philosophy of mind courses, and if any were at the introductory level?

At this stage of the project, we’re asking for CVs to be shared either here on the forum, or sent to I’ll be passing these along to the Part Editor, Heather Salazar, who will make final decisions on chapter assignments in January.

@apurva Sure. I’ve taught/tutored an introductory philosophy of mind course called Computers, brains, and minds, which is basically an introduction to the main issues in philosophy of mind (such as dualism, the nature of content, mental representations, the computational theory of mind etc.). The course also looks at what the implications are for cognitive science when the issues in philosophy of mind are taken into account.

I’ll email you my cv now.



@eran.asoulin Thanks for sharing. It sounds like an interesting course!

I’ve received your CV, and will pass along to Heather who will make final decisions. Stay tuned for the chapter assignments in January!

@robinlukevarghese Personal identity as a separate chapter is a great idea. Did you send your cv already? I’ll be looking into chapter assignments soon. What chapters do you prefer, in order?

@eran.asoulin Wonderful! Which chapter do you prefer? Perhaps the one on functionalism? Or do you suggest a different chapter?

@vajramadhu Thank you for posting. I will consider you for the consciousness chapter. What do you mean by representationalism? I assume that would be covered on concepts and content.